You taught them how to read and ride a bike, but have you taught your child how to manage money? Without the proper education in dealing with money, children are at risk of becoming financially irresponsible in life. By engaging with your child about how money works, save them (and yourself) some heartache by teaching them the basics of smart money management.
We consulted with Jeremy McClymonds, owner and financial advisor with FORM Prosperity Wealth Advisors, LLC to learn more.
Have the conversation.“The best time to start teaching your kids about money is the age they begin to count. Start by identifying, counting and sorting coins. Play “store” where kids exchange money for goods, introducing them to the basics of shopping,” suggests McClymonds.
Saving, spending and sharing. Instill these three principles of healthy money management in everyday living. Encourage saving by offering a match program, say 25 cents for every dollar they put in a savings account. Let them see how interest grows their money.
Let them live it. An allowance program helps teach the relationship between work and money. “Age5 or 6 is a good time to begin giving your child a small allowance. Introducing an income is an opportunity to teach money management and good saving habits,” says McClymonds.
Create a budget for clothing or other items you provide older children. Let them decide how and when to spend the allotted money so they learn to balance their wants vs. needs.
McClymonds advises, “Giving your child a checking account with debit card is a practical one and makes sense for young people around the time they enter high school, earn their driver's license, and get a job. Supervised use gives young people an advantage to practice simple electronic banking, before they venture out into a digitized economy.”
Don’t bail them out. If you loan them money, make them pay it back. Create IOUs. What they learn now could pay them back later in life—when it really matters.
Ages 3-5 Introduction: Teach the names and values of coins and a dollar bill. Practice counting. Create jars labeled “Saving,” “Spending” and “Sharing.” When they receive money, put money in each jar.
Ages 6-10 Cause & Effect: Teach they may have to wait to get what they want and may have to make choices. Include them in financial decisions, comparison shopping. Open a savings account.
Ages 11-2 Consequences: Teach about compound interest, budgeting, cashless options, and short-term vs long-term goals.
Ages 13-15 Building Wealth: Talk about long-term goals like owning a car and what expenses are involved. Discuss higher education costs and available options.
Ages 16-18 Reality: Expect your child to get a job and save for their upcoming financial needs. Get them a debit card tied to their “spendable” money.
Ages 18+ Responsibility: Teach the consequences of debt.Get your child a credit card they must pay off each month.